Pounders Digest

April 22, 2021 - Happy Earth Day Pounders!

Allow myself to introduce…myself. My name is Mark and unlike Lil Wayne, I am a human being. I think too much, I have too many interests, I love to learn and research everything, and am very much a DIYer, and aside from my love of incorporating hip-hop and pop culture references into everyday life and conversations, I am an old soul trapped in a younger body. I’m a born jokester and I love nothing more than to put a smile on someone’s face though my creativity and sense of humor. Most importantly though, I am passionate about life and leaving everything and everyone in this world better than I found it. I have high expectations for my future success and want to make sure I give back along the way. Ultimately one day, I’d love to work with Bill Gates and or be very similar in the regard of filling my day learning about global/third world problems and using my resources and amassed knowledge to help try to solve them.

I became a pounder before the podcasts were even released when I saw Avi and Tony going back and forth on the hyper-growth names I knew and loved. I was an early investor in Tesla and even earlier investor in Apple, well as early as my age would allow me to be, and unfortunately, all of my friends were traditional investors that laughed at me for putting all my eggs (at the time) into those two baskets… especially Tesla. I knew I had a lot of life ahead of me and if I failed to invest in the things I believed in I knew I had at least put my money to work for the future of our civilization and planet. When I discovered Avi and Tony, early in 2020, and started to see their passion through their tweets and the early podcasts, I knew them my people and that I wanted to be on board with whatever they were doing.

While you may have come to Pounding the Table for stock and options investment research, I am here to provide you with some alternative investing ideas. How about investing in the planet, your house/apartment, and creating future savings for yourself for many years to come? We all love making money, how about a few ideas on how to save it! Oh, yea— and it is EARTH DAY, so why not save the planet too?  

It has always dumbfounded me why improving home efficiency has not been a bigger priority for people. It helps the planet and it often cuts your costs over time. Oh, and a little secret — it will also increase your property values!

I will go into further details on future posts but for now see below for a bit beyond the basics in some key areas of green home improvement:

***Disclaimer: Any stocks mentioned below are simply companies in the field that have tickers and that I have heard about or bought products from. They are not investment advice. They are not positions I hold. They are not “pounds”. Pounding the Table has no affiliation with any of these companies.***

 

Solar – Solar Roof: As a massive Tesla fan – how can I not kick this off with their Solar Roof.  Tesla’s Solar Roof isn’t available everywhere yet, but based on their website numbers for my house, I would generate 30% more electricity from the solar roof on just my house than from solar panels being on my house and detached garage. While it appears the cost would be about 90% more when I factor in the amount I paid to have my roof redone recently that number drops down to only about 53% more and the Solar Roof will last significantly longer than my asphalt roof. If you have a slate or tile roof, you will likely find Tesla Solar Roof, even more, cost-effective. Don’t forget about the 26% federal tax credit and make sure to check for local rebates from your utility company!  Elon mentioned yesterday that Solar Roof will only be sold with Powerwall moving forward. This will increase costs, but it may also mean that your tax credits increase. Not sure of all the details but I’m excited to how this is treated! Powerwall is Tesla’s battery storage for the power you generate via Solar Roof or Solar Panels. It allows you to store the power you generate for later use when there is no sun, such as the evenings, or stormy days etc.

Companies in this space***: TSLA 

 

Solar – Panels: For those that don’t have the Solar Roof available in their area, panels are your next best option. You can put them on your roof or garage, or you can get creative and put up some structure that provides shelter over a patio/cars and put them on there. If you have a big yard… you could have them out there too. With the federal tax credit at 30% and incentives from my local power company a couple of years ago when I got estimates, I would have broken even in cost around 13 years. Not bad! Sadly, upon further inspection, my roof had some weird slope stuff going on that was going to affect my final numbers and it didn’t make sense for me… but don’t let that stop y’all from capitalizing on the 26% tax credit that’s still out there! 

Companies in this space***: TSLA, RUN, SPWR, SEDG, FSLR, JKS 

 

Windows: Have old windows? Replace them with double or triple pane windows with good insulation. This can cut down on hot/cold air escaping your house, prevent heat/cold from entering your house, and they can also decrease noise entering the house! Triple pane windows can be up to 20% more efficient than double pane windows and up to 50% more efficient than single pane! When looking at windows, the performance is in the finer details. Look at the U-Value (U Factor) – the lower the value the better the window is insulated. Look at the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) which tells you how much heat from the sun the window lets through – the lower the number, the less heat is let through. Look for Low E coatings that help reflect sunlight. If opting to save some money with Vinyl, pay attention to the casing around the window. Cheap windows with have empty space in between the plastic. Good windows will have this area insulated. Finally, if you have trim around your windows, make sure that they spray foam insulation around the edges of the windows prior to replacing the trim.

Companies in this space***: CFII (SPAC VIEW), JELD

 

Roofs/Attics/Vents/Insulation: Roofs play a vital role in keeping your house cool. Remember, lighter colors reflect more sunlight. Roofs are no different… lighter roofs will keep your house cooler. Most roofing material should have an initial solar reflectance number and a solar reflectance after 3 years. Find out what these numbers are (see link below) for what you’re looking at and see if another product line of roof material –  there are specialty products now designed for a cooler roof – could help you reflect more sunlight instead of absorbing it! Make sure you have adequate venting in your roof to allow said trapped heat to escape. There are all sorts of solutions for this. Proper insulation in your attic can also help regulate temperatures in your house across seasons! When you’re getting a or looking into a new roof, it would be ideal to do solar if you’re considering it at the same time… Which leads me to… solar…

Companies in this space***: OC

 

Appliances: Most major appliances have become more efficient over time and boast the Energy Star logo, but don’t just stop your research there. There can be BIG differences amongst even these products in terms of efficiency. On these major appliances, they should have an energy star sticker that explains the power use. Look to get as efficient as you can afford! (see link below)

Companies in this space***: WHR, GE

 

Furnace: Have an old furnace? Replace it with a newer, energy-efficient model. The lowest end seems to be about 80% efficient these days, but why not spend a little bit more and opt for the 90+% efficiency on higher-end models? Opt for a 2 stage model that can scale energy usage based on the temperature difference it’s kicking on to fix. And last, but CERTAINLY not least, make SURE you get an ECM (Electronically Controlled Motor). These operate significantly more efficiently, can run at longer cycles, can be running 24/7, and will last significantly longer than their older counterparts. Check with your utility company to see if there are rebates available.

Companies in this space***: JCI, LII, CARR

 

AC: Old AC’s use harmful chemicals anyway and are much less efficient. Air conditioners today all have been assigned a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). Today’s low end of efficiency seems to land around SEER 14 but they can go all the way up into the 20s. To figure out the difference in efficiency between the SEER models, simply divide the larger number by the smaller one. You will get a number greater than 1. Whatever the decimal is after the one represents the % of efficiency gained and consequently the amount you’d hopefully be saving on your electric bill (from AC usage). This is also an opportunity to downsize or upsize accordingly based on your household needs. If you can afford it, opt for multiple units instead of one for a multi-story or larger home.

Companies in this space***: JCI, LII, CARR

 

Smart Thermostat: Smart Thermostats have become extremely affordable and very easy to use. My smart thermostat sends me monthly reports and according to my March numbers, my monthly savings is 25% compared to a temperature set at 71* F. I have it set on a schedule, but it automatically adjusts itself to my “away” settings if no one is home (no one walks by any of the sensors).  There are some other fun features when combined with IFTTT (If This Then That) that allow me to receive discounts on my house insurance as I will get notifications if the temperature is ever too high (possible fire) or too low (possibility for broken pipes) in the house. I also use that free service (IFTTT) to alert me when there is movement detected on the sensors, which can let me know if family members are in the house when they’re not supposed to be.

Companies in this space***: GOOGL, EMR

 

Light Bulbs: Last but not least… replace your light bulbs… ALL OF THEM… with LEDs. When I first bought my house 6 years ago, this was the first thing I did. I struggled to find a couple of bulb sizes/shapes at the time, but today, the selection is MUCH better and you should be able to find a replacement for just about any bulb. Many LED bulbs are 75-80%+ more efficient, power-wise when compared to a traditional 60W bulb. CFL bulbs (think of those curly bulbs) are similar efficiency-wise, but LEDs will last 1.5X longer than CFLs and 25X longer than a traditional incandescent light bulb.

Companies in this space***: CREE

 

 

For all of the above, don’t forget to look for rebates from your local utility company as well as any applicable federal tax credits! 

 

https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/